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The Bible and the Pursuit of Happiness


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Table of Contents

Preface Abbreviations Contributors Introduction Brent A. Strawn, ''The Bible and Happiness?'' Part I. Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Introduction to Part I Terence E. Fretheim, ''God, Creation, and the Pursuit of Happiness'' Nathan MacDonald, ''Is There Happiness in the Torah?'' Jacqueline Lapsley, ''A Happy Blend: Isaiah's Vision of Happiness (and Beyond)'' William P. Brown, ''Happiness and Its Discontents in the Psalms'' Carol A. Newsom, ''Positive Psychology and Ancient Israelite Wisdom'' Part II. New Testament Introduction to Part II Carl R. Holladay, ''The Beatitudes: Happiness and the Kingdom of God'' Joel B. Green, '''We Had to Celebrate and Rejoice!' Happiness in the Topsy-Turvy World of Luke-Acts'' Colleen Shantz, '''I Have Learned to Be Content': Happiness according to St. Paul'' Greg Carey, ''Finding Happiness in Apocalyptic Literature'' Part III. Beyond the Bible: Continuing the Conversation into Other Disciplines Introduction to Part III Ellen T. Charry, ''The Necessity of Divine Happiness: A Response from Systematic Theology'' Thomas G. Long, ''A Constructed Happiness: A Response from Practical Theology'' Steven J. Sandage, ''The Transformation of Happiness: A Response from Counseling Psychology'' Epilogue Brent A. Strawn, ''The Triumph of Life: Towards a Biblical Theology of Happiness'' Appendix Michael J. Chan, ''A Biblical Lexicon of Happiness'' Bibliography Index

About the Author

Brent A. Strawn is Associate Professor of Old Testament at the Candler School of Theology and Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University, where he is also affiliated with the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies and a Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion.


"These essays are from some of our most solid and respected scholars, who evidence great skill in moving from close textual work to more generalized conclusions...This is a welcome book, the only one of its kind in the discipline...This is a bold and compelling beginning of an important probe about faith and culture." --Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology "This work, based on a 2009 conference at Emory University, is of high quality...This work is particularly valuable because little academic theological attention has been given to the topic. Also, it brings together insights from the Bible, theology, and psychology in unique, interesting ways." --CHOICE "For some time the study of happiness has been flourishing in such disciplines as psychology, neurobiology, philosophy, and spirituality. But in biblical studies, happiness has not received the attention it deserves. This new work goes a long way toward filling the gap. In creative dialogue with the Positive Psychology movement, ten world-class biblical scholars, together with a systematic theologian, a professor of preaching, and a psychologist, have produced a collection of wide-ranging, insightful essays. The effective outcome is a biblical theology of happiness. Not only that: it is a joy to read."--Stephen C. Barton, author of Life Together: Family, Sexuality and Community in the New Testament and Today "In light of Scripture's many words about enjoyment, goodness, and happiness, it is surprising how little attention has been given to the subject of happiness and its various elements and dimensions in the Bible. That hole is now filled with this comprehensive effort to engage Scripture, theology, and psychology in a conversation that lets us see how both human happiness and divine happiness are constantly explored in the Bible, not apart from the reality of sin and suffering and evil but in both present experience and expectation."--Patrick D. Miller, Charles T. Haley Professor of Old Testament Theology Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary

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